Marine Minister Michael Creed took receipt of the 2019 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book yesterday, Thursday 21 November.
One of the institute’s primary annual publications since 1993, the Stock Book provides scientific advice on commercial fish stocks of interest to Ireland.
“The fishing industry is a vital part of Ireland's ocean economy,” the minister said. “The information presented by the Marine Institute in the Stock Book is critical to the preparations for the annual Fisheries Council negotiations which this year will take place in Brussels on the 16th and 17th of December.
“The detailed stock-by-stock guide ensures we have the most up-to-date scientific advice on this renewable resource.”
The Stock Book forms an important component of the sustainability impact assessment presented to Dáil Éireann annually before the EU fisheries negotiations commence.
This year advice was given for 74 stocks, and results show continued improvement in the number of stocks that are sustainably fished
In addition, the Stock Book serves as a reference guide to the fishing industry, managers, marine scientists, environmental NGOs, third level institutes, financial institutions and the wider public.
Much of the scientific work that delivers the Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund scheme.
The Marine Institute says scientific advice and services provided by scientists to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are a key focus of its Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
“These scientific services are essential to supporting our sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Paul Connolly.
The institute’s scientists participate in, and lead, many international working groups at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), which assess fish stocks and provide scientific advice on how much can be sustainably fished.
“ICES is a very important organisation for the Marine Institute where scientists from many countries share data and work together to deliver the impartial scientific advice required by the fisheries managers. This advice is presented in the Stock Book and is essential to sustaining our coastal communities,” Dr Connolly said.